Butternut Squash and things to help NotSquashNuts

Cooking with kids is brilliant for learning and for bonding. Plus, when it is snowing or it is half term or you are too broke to afford a trip to a PlayGym, it is an awesome cheap activity. Not just cakes and biscuits but dinners too. Personally, the run up to dinner in my house is when I eye up the left over Baileys from Christmas – it is a stressful and tense time of the day. Everyone is hungry and shouty, and under my feet. By getting the kids involved in helping with dinner, it means less screaming (from me) because they are focussed on doing an acitivity before tea. And Tesco Real Food are also doing these amazingly easy savoury dinner recipes which are EASY. Do you understand what I am saying? They are EASY.

Husband and I feel strongly about giving the kids good fuel. Yes they eat biscuits and cakes, but all in moderation. Even the grandparents are hopping on the bandwagon. Although I did walk into the kitchen the other day to find my mum, who was baking with the boys, giving Alex a bowl of icing sugar. To eat. To. Eat. “Oh! It’s just a bit of sugary dust, Hannah”.

I have a wheat intollerance so we tend to cook food from scratch as much as we can. But this isn’t always possible – in our world, in anyones world – people work, kid’s get poorly, La Senza does an excellent bra sale so you are late getting indoors and don’t always get a chance to whip something up from scratch (but your boobs feel supported and amazing in this unsexy but practical sale number you found at the back of the rail… and you made a brilliant joke, albeit to yourself, in the shop “Nice rack” *snigger*).

Sometimes, you just can’t be arsed.

So when Tesco Real Food got in touch I wanted to pick one recipe which isn’t 100% from scratch, so if you are in a rush you can get a little bit of a help and a cheat. And this one is packed full of veggies. Last week Edward adored, loved and simply couldn’t get enough of carrots. This week, hates them. Refuses to eat them because we used one for the Snowmans nose when it snowed at the weekend. “I CAN’T EAT HIS NOSE, MUMMY!” he shrieks, running away from me, clutching his own face. Apparently you need to try a food ten times or something before you are “allowed” to say if the children actually genuinely like it or not. Whatever. I just want them to eat as much fruit and veg as possible. So, sometimes, I lie to my children and force feed them veggies without them realising. I don’t care if this is morally wrong. At this age I care more about their skin and bones and inner bits. I hide the nutrients in dinners. Tescos Real Food veggie curry does just that, if you want it to  – healthy veggies, a splash of learning and fun (how twee), but with a dash of cheat (a sauce).

Veggie Curry – Tesco Real Food

Ed got right involved. We have had many a chat about how KatieIcancook is WRONG. You do not use scissors for cooking. Using scissors and food is what drunk people do at the end of a night out when they are desperately trying to get into their kebab and all they can find are scissors. For the love of cooking! You need a knife.

This is a blunt knife (mum please don’t panic). But does the job. And look at the concentration on his face! He probably mashed all the juicey goodness out of that pepper with his attempts, but at least he did it, with a knife and not a pair of plastic lollipop sticks hinged together.

If I am honest, because this one didn’t involve chocolate Alex couldn’t really give two hoots about cooking. What he did like, was getting some of his fathers clean undercrackers from the laundry room and running round with them on his head.

You can used reduced salt stock, and the salt in the jar of sauce isn’t high either, plus everything is freezable so you can freeze for another day. Easily would I get 3 meals a piece at least out of this for both boys. Ergo 6 servings+nice and cheap+nice and healthy veg = happy mum and happy kids. The boys really loved this and it was a real shame because I accidently *cough* served up too much for them so I licked the bowl. Ed told me this was ok because I was “cleaning it”. Do feel free to come round anytime for tea.

Check out Tesco Real Food cooking ideas for all sorts of other ideas. And not just for the kids but grown ups can eat them too.

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